The Green Sheet Online Edition
April 09, 2012 • Issue 12:04:01
Fulfilling brand promise
Do you know whether your business delivers on its promises? One way to find out is to examine your customer service efforts. From the disaffected sales associate behind the counter to the bored-to-death agent on the other end of the phone, lackadaisical, even insensitive interactions have disappointed many a customer, undoing years of planning and hard work.
Less than stellar customer service undermines an enterprise's brand promise cultivated through marketing and advertising. For example, a national insurance company blankets the country with television ads that showcase helpful, friendly sales associates there for its customers 24/7. However, the reality is far different, with long call center wait times and indifferent in-person service.
When messaging and reality do not align, consumers dismiss a company's marketing as a string of empty declarations and false promises. When this occurs, efforts to build customer satisfaction and brand loyalty are dealt a critical blow.
On the same page, better results
The solution to this problem involves training. Call center staff may not realize the importance of their role, even though they often represent consumers' first live interaction with a company. Interactions with customer service reps should leave customers feeling positive and reassured that the company will deliver on what it promises.
Customer service associates should understand that what they say to customers over the phone, and how they say it, is critical to reinforcing the fundamentals of the business. So be sure you effectively communicate to your associates what your company promises via marketing and advertising, as well as what differentiates your company from the competition.
Knowing what your business promises will help your associates build personae that reflect your company's consumer-directed messaging. They will also better understand where they fit into your company's overall objectives and what is expected of them in attaining them. In effect, associates will learn to project and solidify your company's vision.
Offering top-notch customer service will make your company look that much better in comparison to so many others that offer merely mediocre service. And if your business messages instill high expectations in consumers, associates who are taught to strive for excellence will be more able to deliver what customers expect.
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